So, you’re excited about iPad 3 with Retina Display? Hold your horses, panel makers may not be on the same page with Apple. Per this analysis compiled by DigiTimes, display and touch panel providers are actually struggling to keep up with Apple’s ever growing appetite:
As iPad and iPhone have aroused demand for displays and touch panels with higher performance standards, makers are under pressure to upgrade specifications in their road maps, according to industry sources.
As seen in the publication’s chart, 10.1-inch panels are unlikely to hit the full HD resolution before the second half of next year. Sure, some quantities will be available to buyers, but it will likely be a far cry from the current run-rate of nearly 40 million iPad units. On a brighter note, planned upgrades of 10.1-inch panels include thickness going down from from 2.8mm to 2.3mm, power consumption reducing from 3.6W to 2.7W and further to 2.2W by the end of 2012 and multitouch response advancing from 2-10 fingers to more than ten fingers simultaneously (definitely a good news for a rumored Amazon tablet).
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Apple, of course, is using 9.7-inch panels for its iPad so this DigiTimes report should be taken with a grain of salt. The company’s said to be already lining up suppliers to provide iPad 3 parts in time for a 2012 launch. Whether or not that device will sport an ultra-high resolution display remains to be seen, even with the rumor-mill ferociously calling for it. Apple is reportedly quality-testing 2048-by-1536 displays for the device from both Samsung and LG, two of the few LCD makers said to be “at ease” with highly-advanced LCD screens. Nevertheless, quality-testing is one thing and achieving high volume in mass production at acceptable yield rates is an entirely different pair of shoes. Unless, of course, Apple branches out iPad into the mass-market consumer lineup sporting regular displays and a Retina-capable model with beefed up internals aimed at pro verticals such as photography, medical, law, enterprise and so forth.The latter would price itself out of the reach of average consumers, perhaps making low-volume manufacturing attainable until the pricey high-res display technology catches on and works its way down to consumer models.